Is Hillary Helping?

If you were as shocked as many of us were to see Ms Clinton speak out about China‘s
handling of the Internet, in general, and then the Google debacle too, join the crowd.  We described last week in The Informationization Age how the modernization of China‘s nation included a plan on how they would allow their people to disseminate information and what outsiders would be allowed to do, and not allowed to do.  In China and the Google Bear we confirmed that the largest Internet user on the planet, China, was not keen to hear what the ex-president’s wife thought about it.  Nothing personal, Ms Clinton, but these guys don’t actually like public displays of disaffection.  It may also have something to do with the fact that we continue to put our hands out to these people to fund our nation’s prosperity, and we depend on them, sadly, to feed much of our obesity.


I think some U.S. politicians suffer from anxiety in thinking that there are 1.3 billion people now in China, more Internet users than we have people, and they are making an amazing shift to join the real world without any advice from us.  And so far, so good.  I mean, there are lots of problems, and dissenters, but as far as anyone can tell, there are the most amazing opportunities on the planet and they aim to make it happen.  The arrogance that we have, who are deep into the Internet is, we believe that freedom will rise to the top, and intelligence may just replace the arrogance that is now infecting government officials around the world. I’m guessing that is what Brinn and Page et al were thinking when they decided to accept China‘s invitation, abide by their rules and they aren’t about to exit that market.  It could be that Google understands the stakes better than anyone, especially for the technology sector.

One imagines that, if this is allowed to settle down and the rhetoric go away, you may even see some melting of the frost we now sense in our relationship.  Google needs to stay, China needs to make a quiet apology and to slap someone on the wrist, and move on.  China was not doing anything that every other country on the planet isn’t doing whenever possible.  Hacking is a huge part of existing intelligence communities everywhere, and it’s disingenuous to act like China has the market on that too.  Technology companies that now have opportunties in China need to get support, and, most of all, diplomacy from our State Department.  Pointing fingers won’t create jobs, and those jobs will be the best diplomacy anyone can offer.


To wit, the statement by Wang Xiaoyang in the U.K. Guardian today, "It was because online warfare launched by America, via YouTube video and Twitter microblogging, spread rumours, created splits, stirred up and sowed discord between the followers of conservative reformist factions."  China needs Iran, refused to back sanctions against them and held onto a few nuggets to toss back at Ms. Clinton for just this particular moment apparently.

"It attacked the decision to cut off of Microsoft’s instant messaging services to nations covered by US sanctions, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea, as violating America‘s stated desire for free information flow." And "Clinton‘s direct challenge to China, in a speech that had echoes of the cold war with its references to the Berlin wall and an "information curtain" can easily be bridged and toned down with an acceptance of what we all know will soon be accepted as the statement by Zhou Yonglin, deputy operations director of the national computer network emergency response technical team, who said: "Everyone with technical knowledge of computers knows that just because a hacker used an IP address in China, the attack was not necessarily launched by a Chinese hacker."


The hacker’s lament, regardless if it is a precocious twelve-year-old or the largest power on earth, will be accepted and hopefully sooner than later.  Our preference here would be that the putative Obama administration technology leader, one Eric Schmidt head of Google, will zip over to Zhou’s favorite restaurant and accept the explanation and implement whatever firewalls are needed to protect themselves within the Great Firewall.  And that Ms. Clinton avoid the tech topic as jobs are still the most important thing on everyone’s minds, and we don’t need any rookies messing with the challenges we all face.



3 Responses to Is Hillary Helping?

  1. Tom January 26, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Sunbelt or someone there may well dislike Hillary Clinton (or Obama). The snarky tone of this memo, however, is inappropriate in a business publication. Clinton spoke in her official capacity as Secretary of State. If you disagree with her comments, say so, but keep the sneer to yourself. You might also try to find a less mocking photo.

    There are probably unflattering photos of Santa Claus somewhere, but would they be the best illustration for an article about the commercialization of Christmas or the lack of spirituality?

    This display of poor judgement on the part of Sunbelt makes me much less likely to want to do business with them or use their products. What other areas are they so unprofessinal about?

  2. Tek-Tips January 26, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Sunbelt was not associated with the post, just an ad and we apologize for any offense. You are right, the subject is far too serious to be political. That was not the intent. We don’t think the strategy exhibited so far takes into account what the stakes are, and we think it is wise not to try to embarrass China publicly. We want the relationship to grow amicably and build trust, not lose face. We would love all of our leaders, and upcoming leaders, to weigh in on the subject.

  3. Lisa January 26, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    She is not President Clinton’s ex wife but the Secretary of State.

    Google tried the appeasement thing and look what it got them. You can call it trying not to embarrass them publically or to call it growing the relationship amicably. Weak. I call it enabling.

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